Opening Hours: Tue-Sat: 10am-12midnight, Sun-Mon: Closed

Open Call: A Disabled Artists Manifesto

Wed 22 April — Mon 29 June 2020

Not Going Back to Normal

Sasha Saben Callaghan and Harry Josephine Giles invite submissions as part of their project Not Going Back To Normal. Read on to find out more.

We want your radical art and ideas for remaking the art world by and for disabled people. We’re making a website and a book, and we’re paying for contributions.

How many times have you heard the words “when things go back to normal”?

Before COVID-19, disabled artists were already routinely excluded from visual arts and galleries, were already often failed by the arts and cultural sector. No one has to tell us the reasons why – poverty, prejudice, stairs, forms, noisy parties, austerity, tickboxes – we all know. Same old, same old. Normal was already no use to us, and we were never normal.

We were commissioned by a group of Scottish visual art organisations to produce a provocation about the exclusion of disabled artists. Now, at a time when all of our adjustments are suddenly reasonable, the world is experiencing just a fraction of our normal, and everyone else is suddenly interested in isolation, vulnerability and distance communication, we want to hand that provocation over to you.

Because we're not going back to normal. The world is changing, so let's remake it with our ideas. If we want an artistic revolution, this is our chance.

Help us write a radical manifesto for and by disabled artists. Show us what you want the arts in Scotland to be like for disabled artists and audiences. Tell us what you're pissed off about. Give us your demands. Make us a picture of a radically accessible arts world. We’re taking your demands to the bosses.

Here are some questions to start you off:
-What would art be like if it was always centred on disabled people?
-How is art in Scotland set up to exclude disabled people, and how would you change that?
-Can art ever include disabled people in a society that excludes us?
-How has the pandemic changed things, and what has it made more clearer?
-If you could say anything to Creative Scotland and the institutions they support, what would it be?

Your submission could be a painting, a poem, a page from a journal, a collage, a doodle, a three-minute rant – whatever you want to say, however you want to say it. We can accept up to four A5 sides of print, and up to 10 minutes of audio or video. If you'd like to submit in another medium, get in touch. Email your submissions to by 29th June 2020.

Submissions will be displayed in an online gallery as a crowdsourced disabled artists manifesto. A fee of £25 will be paid for work displayed online, and a further £50 for work included in the print publication of the manifesto, which will be produced and circulated to galleries, funders and government cultural bodies. Fees can be paid as a store voucher or by another method if needed.

We follow the social and affirmative model of disability which shows that it is the barriers and attitudes in an ableist society which disable and exclude us. We will not accept submissions which express prejudice and discrimination, and reserve the right to refuse submissions.

This project is for all artists, at any level of experience, who identify as Disabled, D/deaf, chronically ill, neurodiverse, crip, mad, sick, spoonie or otherwise.

We can’t wait for your ideas.

About Us

“Not Going Back to Normal” is a project by Sasha Saben Callaghan and Harry Josephine Giles, commissioned collectively by Arika, Artlink, CCA, Collective, DCA, Glasgow School of Art Exhibitions, Project Ability and the Scottish Sculpture Workshop, and funded by Creative Scotland and Engage.

Submission Guidelines

We can accept submissions in any format, and will work with you if you need help sending in work. Please contact with any questions. The following are guidelines that can help make it easier to access your work.

Text: a .pdf file is most likely to preserve any special formatting you use. For simple texts, a .doc file is most likely to read well on other machines, but .pages often causes problems.

Audio: please upload your audio to an online service like SoundCloud or MixCloud and send us a link, rather than sending us a file. We recommend keeping a .wav of any recordings you make, as this preserves audio quality best.

Image: please do not send images larger than 3MB, or alternatively send links to online uploads of images. When making and saving a digital image, please also keep a version at 300dpi for potential print publication.

Video: please upload your video to an online service like YouTube or Vimeo rather than sending us the file. If you password-protect the video, please remember to send us the password.

Interactive: if you make an interactive work, please send us a web or download link rather than the file as an attachment.

Anything Else: just ask us if you need advice at




Closing date: 29 June 2020